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Michel Portal|Birdwatcher

Birdwatcher

Michel Portal

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Michel Portal is one of the most original bass clarinetists to come up in the past 20 years, and one of the few to not sound (except in brief spots) like Eric Dolphy. On this set of originals, he plays forward-looking jazz that is consistently colorful, often quite moody, occasionally a bit menacing, and never dull. Portal, who is also heard on one song apiece on clarinet, alto, and soprano, interacts with the passionate tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby on six of the 11 selections, welcomes several guest players, and on three numbers utilizes two bassists. Some of the originals are complex and others are one-chord vamps but the momentum, fueled by a powerful rhythm section that on seven selections includes percussionist Airto, never slows down. Birdwatcher is a spirited outing that is well worth savoring.
© Scott Yanow /TiVo

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Birdwatcher

Michel Portal

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1
Nada Mas
00:06:29

Airto Moreira, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Francois Moutin, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Malaby, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - JT Bates, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Erik Fratzke, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

2
Lanterne Helvète
00:05:25

SONNY THOMPSON, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Jef Lee Johnson, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Bland, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

3
The Sandpiper
00:06:38

Airto Moreira, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Francois Moutin, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Malaby, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - JT Bates, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Erik Fratzke, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

4
The Bad Waitress
00:02:57

SONNY THOMPSON, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Jef Lee Johnson, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Bland, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

5
Lake Street
00:10:30

Airto Moreira, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Malaby, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - JT Bates, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Erik Fratzke, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

6
Tadorna
00:11:16

Airto Moreira, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Francois Moutin, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Malaby, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - JT Bates, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Erik Fratzke, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

7
Distira Lanoan
00:06:07

Airto Moreira, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Malaby, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - JT Bates, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Erik Fratzke, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

8
Calicot Vanity
00:04:38

Airto Moreira, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Francois Moutin, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Malaby, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - JT Bates, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Erik Fratzke, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

9
Lanterne Helvète (Snap)
00:01:11

SONNY THOMPSON, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, MainArtist - Tony Hymas, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Jef Lee Johnson, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Bland, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

10
Impatience
00:07:23

Airto Moreira, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Francois Moutin, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Malaby, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - JT Bates, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Erik Fratzke, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

11
Blue Lighthouse
00:01:59

SONNY THOMPSON, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michel Portal, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Hymas, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Jef Lee Johnson, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Bland, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Decca Records France

Album Description

Michel Portal is one of the most original bass clarinetists to come up in the past 20 years, and one of the few to not sound (except in brief spots) like Eric Dolphy. On this set of originals, he plays forward-looking jazz that is consistently colorful, often quite moody, occasionally a bit menacing, and never dull. Portal, who is also heard on one song apiece on clarinet, alto, and soprano, interacts with the passionate tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby on six of the 11 selections, welcomes several guest players, and on three numbers utilizes two bassists. Some of the originals are complex and others are one-chord vamps but the momentum, fueled by a powerful rhythm section that on seven selections includes percussionist Airto, never slows down. Birdwatcher is a spirited outing that is well worth savoring.
© Scott Yanow /TiVo

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